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Modern Fossil Hunters and Paleontologists

From naming the Megaraptor to discovering one of the most famous dinosaur bones in history, this article highlights the accomplishments of some of the paleontologists and fossil hunters who are still active today.

Fernando Novas

The naming of the Megaraptor in 1998 was the handiwork of Fernando E. Novas, an Argentinian paleontologist from the Museum of Natural History in Buenos Aires. The Megaraptor (whose name translates into ‘huge robber’) had a long claw shaped like a sickle on its second toe that was pretty terrifying. To learn more about the Megaraptor, check out the article titled, ‘Dinosaur Profiles: the Megaraptor.’

Paul Sereno

The American paleontologist Paul C. Sereno is responsible for rearranging the dinosaur family tree by reorganizing the ornithischians and naming the clade Cerapoda in 1986, which was created out of the ornithopods and marginocephalians. He also discovered important dinosaur finds and named other specimens.

Larry Martin

Paleontologist Larry D. Martin has made the theory that birds evolved from a different group of reptiles rather than the current belief that they have developed from dinosaurs. The majority of paleontologists have since rejected this theory. The professor of ecology and evolutionary biology is also the curator of vertebrate paleontology at the University of Kansas.

Sue Hendrickson

Sue Hendrickson learned how to hunt for fossils on her own until she became a specialist regarding fossil inclusions in amber. Besides being an adventurous explorer, Hendrickson is also a marine archaeologist, who famously uncovered the impressive T. rex fossil in South Dakota in 1990 that was nicknamed Sue. The T. rex find is special because it is the largest and most complete fossil of its kind located to date. Today, you can view the dinosaur fossil at the Field Museum in Chicago. Illinois.

Xijin Zhao

Chinese paleontologist Zhao Xijin is responsible for giving names to a variety of dinosaurs that includes the following creatures: Chaoyoungosaurus, Chinshakiangosaurus, Dachongosaurus, Damalasaurus, Klamelisaurus, Kunmingosaurus, Lancangjiangosaurus, the family Mamenchisauridae, Megacervixosaurus, Microdontosaurus, Monkonosaurus, and Monolophosaurus.

Jacques Gauthier

Jacques A. Gauthier is an American paleontologist who has completed extensive work on the classification of dinosaurs, birds, and all saurians (such as lizards, crocodylians and rhynchocephalians). In 1986, Gauthier looked at more than 100 characteristics of birds and dinosaurs. In the end, he showed that birds belonged to the clade of coelurosaurian dinosaurs. He is now a Professor of Geology & Geophysics at Yale University.

Luis Chiappe

With his knowledge in vertebrates, Luis M. Chiappe was qualified to take on the positions of Chairman of the Department of Vertebrae and Paleontology, and Associate Curator of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. He focuses on the study of dinosaurs and the origins of birds. In 1997, Chiappe was responsible for discovering a cache of thousands of fossilized titanosaur eggs in Patagonia, Argentina. The fossils dated back to 80 million years ago. Titanosaurs were large creatures with long necks that ate plants. The find was significant because many of the eggs contained fossilized dinosaur embryos.